We’ve all experienced a moment in our lives where our carefully laid plans fall through. You could have everything perfectly laid out and all it takes is one event to make you rethink it all. For German producer Vonica, this type of life-altering situation completely reshaped his music life path. Originally belonging to an indie band, Vonica’s then band-mate ended their collaboration to join an Italian Monastery and become a priest.
Now alone Vonica decided to push forward, taking the lessons learned from his previous band and move into the realm of electronic music. On his debut EP, Sol De Nit, Vonica begins his journey to find his place in this musical world. It’s a promising start.
And it’s easy to see where Vonica’s indie leanings make their way into his work with the opening track ‘Ai’. With a summery beat and Passion Pit inspired vocals the track would fit right in on a Com Truise album. The song also has a very indie ebb and flow to it, slowing down towards the end before rushing back in for an emotional finish.
Track two, ‘Light Sleep Dream’, is another indie inspired jam but this time is more Jon Hopkins or Mount Kimbie. Engineer Marc Peel, who’s worked with Mount Kimbie, is to thank for keeping the EP feeling close to Vonica’s normal wheelhouse, while still lending it a unique style all it’s own. This comes across in the very jittery opening which had transfixed before it expands into something grander.
The one fault to this style is when Vonica loses himself in his influences. It becomes hard to figure out how he can stand out in the crowded electronic field. ‘Swing State’ is the prime example of this; on the surface, it’s a fine track with some really interesting vocal production, but the music surrounding it sounds so very similar to Crystal Castles that it just made me want to put on one of their older records instead.
Thankfully the record ends well with ‘Foneless’, which, while anti-climatic, still manages to keep me interested in where Vonica will go from here. The track is a mix of trance grooves and ghostly background vocals which, with the help of some guitar, blooms into something beautiful.
Overall, Sol De Nit is a good testing ground for Vonica. With these four songs, he’s laid a lot of groundwork. One hopes that, as he comes into his own, his work will only improve along with him.
Sol De Nit is out now via Lamela.